Trans Mountain is proposing an expansion of its current 1,150-kilometre pipeline between Strathcona County (near Edmonton), Alberta and Burnaby, BC. The proposed expansion, if approved, would create a twinned pipeline that would increase the nominal capacity of the system from 300,000 barrels per day, to 890,000 barrels per day.
Some quick facts include:
- Projected capital cost: $5.4 billion
- Approximately 980 km of new pipeline laid
- Twinning to take place within existing right-of-way corridor where practical, minimizing construction in new areas
- Dual-line operations to run after twinning
- Existing line to carry refined products, synthetic crude oils, light crude oils
- Proposed new line to carry heavier oils
- 11 new pump stations to be built
- Existing stations along the route to be expanded
- Additional storage capacity to be added to existing storage terminals in Burnaby, Sumas, and Edmonton
- Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby to be expanded
- New pipeline capacity to be added between Burnaby Terminal and Westridge Marine Terminal
This is not the first time the Trans Mountain line has been expanded. In fact, since operation began in 1953, the capacity of the pipeline system has been increased numerous times, with the initial expansion in 1957. The most recent expansion project took place between 2006 and 2008 with the construction of 13 new pump stations and modifications to existing stations along the route. Also during this time, the Anchor Loop project added 160 kilometres of new pipe through Jasper National Park and Mount Robson Provincial Park between Hinton, Alberta and Hargreaves, BC.
The marine component of the proposed expansion is also being developed. Every month, Port Metro Vancouver currently handles 250 vessels of all types. At present, the Westridge Marine Terminal handles approximately eight vessels per month (five of which are tankers) — representing less than 3% of the total traffic in Port Metro Vancouver. Should the proposed expansion be approved, the number of vessels, including tankers and barges, being loaded at the Westridge Marine Terminal could increase to approximately 37 per month (34 of which could be tankers) in 2017, or about 14% of today’s total Port Metro Vancouver vessel traffic.